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Mayweather vs. Pacquiao – “Reporters” Need to Get the Players Straight

by Charles Jay

In this space stories that other people have written aren’t ordinarily dissected and/or sliced and diced, but the subject matter of one story in particular brought a chortle and deserved to be addressed, if only for educational purposes.

It actually involved Lance Pugmire of the Los Angeles Times, who himself was making reference to a piece that was on another site; one of those sites where you have to wait for an intrusive advertisement to download for about a half-hour before reading the story.

It centered around Michael Koncz, who by all accounts is an advisor of sorts for Manny Pacquiao, trying to negotiate a fight deal with Floyd Mayweather himself. Koncz said Floyd offered $40 million flat, and Koncz said he offered Floyd $50 million with a percentage, and it kind of went from there.

Do those discussions even matter?

Who could possibly believe that Koncz is the guy who can pull the trigger on a fight with Floyd Mayweather? Well, the writer of that story, for one. Fans who are discussing this prospective fight, as well as cub reporters, need some enlightenment.

For one thing, any “negotiation” is useless where there is not an exploration of the financial details. By details, we’re talking about something that goes beyond a guarantee, because everyone knows that neither Pacquiao nor Mayweather is going into the ring in a fight like this for $40 million, or even $50 million, and nothing more. Koncz, according to the story in question, claimed that there was no back end associated with the offer that was made by Mayweather.

A back end, in case you’re not aware, refers to the revenue that is there after certain expenses and minimums have been realized. In this case, it would amount to a percentage of pay-per-view revenues. It goes above and beyond that which is guaranteed.

Richard Schaefer, who runs Golden Boy Promotions for Oscar De La Hoya, responded to all of this by saying, “Michael Koncz? Who….cares.” In other words, although it is understood that Koncz is an “advisor” and confidant of Pacquiao, what authority does he really have to speak to anyone about a fight promotion?

What Schaefer said is actually true – Koncz himself couldn’t really do anything, whether he had the blessing of Pacquiao or not. Ultimately, he’d have to relay anything he heard to Bob Arum. Knowing this, why wouldn’t interested parties just talk to Arum themselves?

Well, the answer may be that the discussion would change. For example, if you don’t know what the back end is, or what it means, and can’t address it, the conversation is, for all intents and purposes, over.

At the same time, Schaefer was actually making that statement within the context of calling attention to his own status, or what he would like that status to be. When he says something like, “…this (referring to the deal to fight Miguel Cotto on May 5) makes it clear we are a team with Floyd.” When you find yourself having to say things like that, then it probably isn’t true, or is very much in doubt. That’s because the actions on the part of those involved speak for themselves. For example, why wasn’t Michael Koncz directed by Mayweather to talk to Schaefer? Yes, there is a deal to fight Cotto, and that is a Golden Boy promotion. But there is no contract, and thus, no assurance of any future business.

These are the kinds of questions a reporter must bring up when a story is presented to them in a certain way.

Remember, in this business, people with promotional paper on fighters are in a very powerful position. It’s more meaningful than a management agreement. In fact, because it is a matter of promotional rights, it is mandatory that one has to go through a promoter to make a deal. Without that, in order to be part of the discussion when it comes to something big; well, let’s just say you are relying on something that isn’t necessarily reliable.

Does anybody really think Floyd Mayweather could coerce Manny Pacquiao to put his name on a contract without anyone else being involved?

It doesn’t matter how many times these two Tweet to each other, or talk on the phone. If this fight gets done, it’s not going to happen through this route. Not by a longshot.

Koncz, to his credit, did come up with a creative idea, in terms of proposing a 55-45 split of the revenues, with the higher number going to the winner of the fight. That was supposedly part of Koncz’s own offer to Mayweather, which included a $50 million guarantee.

But all of this is hollow conversation. Was Pacquiao or Koncz in a position to guarantee that money? Where was Floyd coming from when making an offer the other way? It’s kind of silly when you read about fighters or their representatives offering each other “deals” unless they can make those things happen. We know that Schaefer and/or Golden Boy is in no position to guarantee that money. That brings us back to Arum, which actually brings us back to the fact that a financial backer is needed to bankroll this fight, and that is the only entity in a position to make a legitimate offer on ANYTHING.

Koncz said, “Manny and I are still opening the door to the fall,” and then, referring to Mayweather, “He has our numbers.”

That’s an interesting statement to make. The cub reporter should have asked whether “Manny and I” could make a deal for the fight without Arum.

Of course, an honest answer would have made the whole piece moot, wouldn’t it?

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